TWO-SPIRIT: The Editor's Note
Xemiyulu Manibusan Tapepechul
Yek metzti ne nelwat metzali! Happy Native American Heritage Month!
What a blessing to have a Two-Spirit Takeover of the Color Bloq Collection! Truly. This is a rarity, that I’m still shocked to be a part of. Seven pieces about Native American Transgender & Queer people, all written by Two-Spirit authors. Honestly, how often does this happen? Every single day that a Two-Spirit exists, they are enduring and resisting against colonialism and bigotry. Any time that a Two-Spirit makes themselves visible, it is a blessing, not just for themselves and their progress, but a seed of hope for the Seventh Generation. It is impossible for anyone to write that Two-Spirit authors do not exist. It would be a lie to say that Two-Spirits are not interested in writing. Two-Spirits are out here, doing the damn thing!
This Collection honors the balanced format of other Color Bloq Collections: 2 Deep Dives and 5 Stories of Us; and uplifts the diverse experiences of Two-Spirits surviving in the colonial United States. Also, to be quite honest: it includes stories that I wanted to read as a Two-Spirit Trans Woman from a Central American Indigenous Nation.
It includes Deep Dives about Two-Spirit Nation and about Two-Spirit Sovereignty, written by the magnificent Trudie Jackson, and the Two-Spirit family Nelwat Ishkamewe. These two pieces has Two-Spirit Scholars laying out the facts, digging deep into Two-Spirit history, while centering the healing of Two-Spirit people- something non-Two-Spirit writers often do not do. This Scholarship is much needed, not just by Two-Spirit people, but by non-Two-Spirits who are at a vital place in their accompliceship, at this point in history.
The Stories of Us share the narratives of 5 Two-Spirits & Trans/Queer Natives that talk about many issues Two-Spirits face today. Robert Garcia, Shawn Johnston, River Ian Kerstetter, Ahanu On, and Shauna Osborn, share their stories about forced disconnection, travel & recovery, discovering self through culture, Two-Spirit families, and Blood Quantum. These topics, if spoken about, are rarely talked about through a Two-Spirit experience, and as the Deep Dives stress, it is important to uplift these narratives.
Together, the Deep Dives and the Stories of Us in this Collection provide a balanced view into the status of the Two-Spirit Diaspora, and the growing need for non-Two-Spirits to align themselves with us.
We’ve been suffering a long time. Never forget to include Two-Spirits in your activism. The healing of Two-Spirits becomes healing for all. Support Two-Spirits. Defend Two-Spirits. Uplift Two-Spirits.
Thank you. Padiush.